What is TRIZ?

Posted by Karen Gadd on 23 Aug 2023
Karen Gadd
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If only TRIZ was as universal as brainstorming perhaps then many more difficult problems might get resolved faster. Brainstorming is great, BUT is often quite hit and miss, which means it only works well about half the time, especially when there are challenges which are too tough or complex to be solved by brainstorming alone.

There’s probably nothing more dispiriting than an unsatisfactory and inconclusive brainstorming session, because it wastes valuable team time, and can make it incredibly difficult to know where to go next. Even expert facilitators, with many available toolkits to call on, can find themselves lost in these situations. When businesses hit a brick wall, and can’t find the answers and innovations they need, then turning to TRIZ means they can move forward fast. It always delivers access to systematic, reliable and fast ways to locate the strong solutions they are seeking. Read on to learn more about TRIZ, its origins and how it works.


TRIZ = Teoriya Resheniya Izobretatelskikh Zadatch, which translates to Theory of Inventive Problem Solving, uniquely uncovered and logged the best systematic approaches to understanding and solving problems. It began in 1946 in a patent office in Baku, Azerbaijan where Jewish, Soviet, Dissident, Inventor, Engineer, and Scientist Genrich Altshuller discovered clear patterns in the way that Engineers and Scientists had solved the most difficult problems. (Please note that TRIZ is much more like Zelensky than Putin, as its development began during Altshuller’s six years in a Siberian Gulag for standing up to Soviet authorities).

Learn Oxford TRIZ online

Altshuller found that if you strip away the detail, the cleverest, most inventive patents shared a small number of fundamental solutions - about 100 - which he gave to the world in 4 overlapping lists to help us access and apply all the ways the world knows to:

  1. Solve contradictions - 40 Principles
  2. Invent future products - 8 Trends
  3. Deal with harms, boost insufficiencies and measure or detect - 76 Standard Solutions
  4. Find out how to do something - TRIZ Effects Database

Altshuller solutions SLIDE 100


TRIZ helps us all to see how our challenges may be similar to other already solved problems, but which are obscured by being in different industries or disciplines. TRIZ helps us recognise and access similar problems and analogous solutions so we can make the best use of the world’s collective knowledge. This means we never squander our precious problem-solving time by re-inventing the wheel.

TRIZ is a big toolkit, analogous to chess, as it comprises many simple pieces which are all easy to learn and apply- and we become skilful by applying it and practising. To become a true master we need to recognise and recognise 'and play' the right combinations of tools against all kinds of different problems. Learning this amazing capability helps us tackle any problem or challenge. even when we face difficult, intractable, or apparently impossible situations.

Fundamental Problem Solving: The best way to learn Oxford TRIZ online

One unexpected benefit of TRIZ is that it delivers happy teams. TRIZ is great at getting people to work together to understand the real problems and collectively generate / share ideas and then innovate effectively. Also the unique problem-solving elements of TRIZ means it works brilliantly alongside other toolkits and fills in their problem-solving gaps. TRIZ enables us to find the best, most innovative solutions based on clear thinking, logic and structured innovation, bringing us brain clarity, and showing us the direct routes to the best solutions.

Developed by Oxford Creativity, Oxford TRIZ™ combines the logic and rigour of standard or classic TRIZ but its tools and processes are faster to learn and easier to apply. Our philosophy of is to make every session effective, efficient, rigorous and yet also fun (Humour enhances innovative thinking and makes materials memorable, and we achieve this with our signature cartoons).

Oxford TRIZ helps us:

  • Boost our brain power locate the most innovative solutions
  • Quickly learn and apply TRIZ tools to any problem
  • Assimilate its step-by-step processes
  • Achieve ‘At a glance’ understanding
  • Combine well with other toolkits and complement and extend their power.

Join our Oxford TRIZ workshops online or in-person to find out more about TRIZ and get in touch with your inner genius.

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Topics: TRIZ